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Pacifica City Manager Announces Retirement

City Manager Stephen Rhodes announced last week he will retire this summer.

Pacifica City Manager Stephen Rhodes announced last week he will retire at the end of July after six years managing the city, according to a report in the Mercury News.

His last day of service coincides with the end of his contract with the city.

According to the Mercury News, Rhodes provided six months notice so City Council will hopefully have time to recruit a new city manager before he leaves.

Before he was appointed by the Pacifica City Council in 2007, Rhodes worked in local government in both Oregon and California.

He will have served 37 years in his career at the time of his retirement.

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Just Another Guy December 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Thank God, dislike him and all the "recommendations " that he and his staff made. Can you imagine how much money he cost this city in consultants alone? Good riddance!
I fixxy Pacifica December 24, 2012 at 10:28 PM
he was under the hippie thumb. everything he did was at their direction. thank God the last hippie is outnumbered 4-1 now. too bad, we could have used Rhodes with better odds.
Just me December 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Being City Manager of Pathetica is a lot like being a teller at a sperm bank - the pay and benefits may be good but it's not really a job you want to brag about to your friends.
I fixxy Pacifica December 25, 2012 at 03:39 AM
we had a good city manager until he got run out of town over $2000 worth of sewer pipe . . .
Lionel Emde December 25, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Personal comments aside, Mr. Rhodes was a very inadequate city manager. Under his aegis, the reserves were spent, we're talking $7 million in 2008, versus $1 million or less now. It's really difficult to say how much there is now, as there is a seeming policy of writing staff reports to obscure the issue. Where the money is going to come from for supposed "pro-development" policies is an open question. We don't have any backup money to speak of, at this point. Thanks, Mr. Rhodes, signing off to your comfortable retirement
I fixxy Pacifica December 25, 2012 at 04:20 AM
tut tut what you say is not true. Rhodes never said the city had $7 million in reserves because the city never had $7 million in reserves. That was a little white lie sneaky pete dejarnatt floated to get re-elected. Rhodes later said sneaky pete "misspoke".
Keri Santos December 25, 2012 at 08:44 PM
I have one complaint about Steve Rhodes, had he told Vreeland to stick it, maybe he wouldn't have gone out of control and ran the city into the ground.
Lionel Emde December 27, 2012 at 01:15 AM
No dude, there really was $7 million in reserves as of 2007-8. Most of it was from lawsuit settlements, but it was there nonetheless. Mr. Rhodes never advised against giving himself and the workforce large pay increases in the contracts of those years on the basis that they would have to spend the reserves in order to balance the budget. To say that's insane is inadequate, let's just say he didn't seem to know what he was doing. Or maybe he did!
Christa Bigue (Editor) December 27, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Some of the comments here are getting a little too nasty. While we welcome all comments reflecting many viewpoints, please remember to abide by Patch's Terms of Use. While we encourage people to be honest and post what’s on their mind, communities thrive when people care about each other, and as such, Patch expects all of its users to be respectful of others. This means that whether you are being complimentary or critical, whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with the subject of an article or another user’s comment, you should act in a civil manner and refrain from personal attacks – after all, these are your neighbors. Thank you!
I fixxy Pacifica December 28, 2012 at 01:08 AM
there was $7.2 million in the city's account but it was no reserve. There were bills yet to pay. and thank new finance director ann ritzma for those pay raises, rhodes just played along because vreeland said so.
Lionel Emde December 28, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Why do you say it was no reserve? Do you have any idea what a reserve is? Pacifica city officials certainly don't, as they looked at it as a pool of money to plug the dike of their reckless spending. You seem mighty ready to excuse Rhodes. Are you Rhodes? He is where the buck stops on this and many other issues.
The Pacifican December 28, 2012 at 05:41 PM
You are so wrong, Lionel. Rhodes gets his marching orders from Council, and in particular, the Mayor. That is a fact. He does nothing, including going to the bathroom, without the blessing/orders/permission of Council. Do you have any idea what a City Manager is? Let's be clear on this, there are two City employees that exist solely to service the whims and wishes of the elected City Council, as well as to protect the political careers of that Council. They are the City Manager and the City Attorney. Both the CM and the CA report directly to the City Council and execute the wishes of the City Council under the direction of the Mayor. They both provide advice (legal or otherwise) and information to Council to assist them in the decision making process. They both serve only the Council (not the public) who is the boss of the CM and CA. The Council makes all of the hiring and firing decisions with respect to the CM and CA positions. Ergo, the buck stops with City Council, not the CM. The buck always stops at the top. If the CM gave Council the wrong impression about the reserves, it was incumbent upon Council to take some sort of corrective action with respect to the CM once they became aware of the facts. Since that action was never taken, it is clear that the Council wanted to propagate the myth about the $7 mil. reserves for their political purposes. To his credit, Rhodes attempted to publically correct Dejarnatt's mistruths about the reserves once confronted.
I fixxy Pacifica December 29, 2012 at 01:55 AM
a reserve is a separate fund. the city never had a separate fund. case closed. there was never a reserve. I agree city council did not know what a reserve was from 2002-2010. but city council approves all budgets. they had the power to say no to anything rhodes proposed. they never said no.
Lionel Emde December 29, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Dude, are you a city council member or top staffer? Only denial or ignorance of the situation would allow for such puffery. This city council takes its marching orders from staff. "Will it save us money, Steve?," they bleated in the pension obligation bond process, which, at a later, concealed date, cost the public more than $20 million. This is a council of people so utterly unqualified in fiscal matters that they employ charlatans to compose the city budget - pity the increasingly poor taxpayer.
The Pacifican December 29, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Yes, Lionel. I am a former City Council member. And as such I know a bit more than you about how it works. I'll repeat it since you didn't seem to hear it the first time. The City Council is responsible for all of the decison making by officals and staff in this city. Period. Yes, we delegate some of the decision making but we remain responsible and totally accountable. Staff, e.g., City Manager, City Attorney, Planning Director all have advisory roles to Council. Again, Council is the one to blame if you don't like how something is done in this City. What's your problem, Lionel? Don't you like it when someone accepts responsibility for soemthing? Guess you're just not used to it. Well, get used to it!
Lionel Emde January 01, 2013 at 07:12 AM
BS, The reserve was a reserve, people saying it wasn't ought to look at the budget. The thing to remember about Pacifica's city council is that they receive staff's advice as gospel, and rarely if ever challenge it. That's why the reserves got spent, they never heard the words: "Don't do this."
Chris Porter January 04, 2013 at 10:46 PM
People cannot be that naive to think the City Manager is calling the shots. He is not. Many times Council members will ask what seems like repetitive or inane questions of staff at meetings to get out to the public the answers to things that have been discussed in either closed session or in individual Council member discussions with City Staff. The City Manager did not spend the reserves but different Council members pushed forth their individual ideas since 2007 relying, I think, on the continuation of the status quo of the economy and monies from the County and State. The City Manager, on many occasions of meetings I was present at, spoke of the dwindling reserves to different Councils so he was definitely aware of what the reserve balances were but realize if Council says spend he cannot say no. Council does not take staff's recommendations as "gospel" but as a continuing fact finding mission. I have personally worked with six city managers and would put this one in the top two. This will definitely be Pacifica's los when a man of this stature ad knowledge leaves our town government.

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